They may not bite, but they sure can be a nuisance when they show up thousands at a time! Box elder bugs are named for their affinity for box elder trees, but they love to congregate on homes -- particularly those made from wood. Here are a few ways you can get rid of the swarms of box elder bugs this summer -- and keep them from coming back.
1. Vacuum them up
If you want to get rid of box elder bugs instantly, reach for your shop vacuum, and start sucking the bugs up. They do not usually fly away fast enough to avoid the vacuum, so you will have success in gathering many of them. Immerse the bag of the vacuum cleaner in water and hold it under for 10 minutes or so. This will kill the bugs. You can then empty the bag and let it dry out before returning it to your vacuum cleaner.
2. Cut down any box elder trees
If the trees are in your neighbor's yard, there's not a lot you can do. Of course, you could talk to your neighbor, and they might agree to cut down the box elder tree if they also are having trouble with the bugs. If the trees are on your land, you can have them removed. Once the trees are gone, you should not notice as many bugs around. Although they gather on homes, they are usually first attracted to a tree, so they will go elsewhere if there are no trees on your land.
3. Sprinkle borax around your home
Once you have vacuumed up the bugs, this is a good way to keep other ones from accumulating. You can buy borax in the laundry area of most grocery stores. Its scent is unappealing to box elder bugs. You can sprinkle it along windowsills, at the base of doors, and even on the ground around your house. It's rather harmless to pets and people, so you don't have to worry about safety.
4. Use permethrin sprays
As a last resort, you can use permethrin sprays to kill any stubborn box elder bugs that you can't suck up with the vacuum. Choose a spray in the aerosol can, as this type distributes the most evenly. Hold it a few feet away from the surface, and spray generously. The spray should repel bugs for a few days as well as killing the bugs that are currently present.
For more information, contact your local residential pest control services.